Joshua Chapter Six (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to start our discussions of the conquering of the central area.

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Read Joshua 6:1-14

II. Conquering the Land of Canaan (6:1-12:24)

A. Conquest of Central Canaan (6:1-8:35). 1. Victory at Jericho (6:1-27). Jericho was shut up tightly because of their fear of what God would do through His people. God speaks to Joshua.

God tells him to have the people to march around the walls, to blow the trumpets, and to shout with the promise that the walls will fall down.

Applications -

- Fear and faith come by hearing. Notice in vs. 1 that the fear of the people was based on what they heard. We know from Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing.

Fear is simply faith in something bad happening. So, we should be careful what we listen to. If we listen to that which is godly, we will trust God and even be afraid of disobeying Him.

On the other hand, if we listen to that which is ungodly, we are subject to find ourselves fearful of the things of this world and unafraid of God, even though God can do more to us than this world.

Furthermore, as people of God, we should be known for telling others about both God’s blessings for those who obey and His punishment for those who do not obey. Let’s work on both hearing that which is of God and sharing with others what we know about God. 

- Follow leadership. Notice in vs. 2 of Joshua that God has a long history of talking to the leader that He sent about the direction of the group. On one hand, there is value in seeking advice about management issues - the how, when, where, and who of getting things done.

However, the leadership issues - the what and why of the matter - must be God approved. What God approves is often unpopular with the masses. That is why it calls for faith.

Let’s work on trusting God to lead the leader, as we follow the leader that He has given us. It is noteworthy that a person’s inability to follow human leadership has more to do with their spiritual immaturity than anything else, even though they would present a godless alternative reason.

- Marching, blowing, and shouting. Notice in vss. 3-5 that the people were called to march, blow trumpets, and shout with enthusiasm, in order to be victorious. Think about how challenging it is to get people to move and make enthusiastic noise for the Lord today.

“Yes” there is a crowd who moves and makes noise with ease. But there is often a larger crowd who is unmoved and rebelliously silent. It may be that the reason we experience such a low level of victory is because of our unwillingness to obey God’s call for us to do the equivalent of marching, blowing, and shouting today.

There are too many who refuse to engage in enthusiastic worship. There are too many who refuse to tithe in a way that encourages others to do the same. Let’s work on being more obedient to God’s will, so we can experience more of God’s victory

A part of the victory included the people being afraid of the people of God’s unified enthusiasm. Perhaps the last time anyone was half way afraid of the unified enthusiasm of the church was during the civil rights movement. How sad.

Read Joshua 6:6-14

1. Victory at Jericho (6:1-27; continued). Joshua gave instructions. The people, including the leaders, followed the instructions. There is marching and trumpet blowing every day for six days.

Applications -

- The followership of the officers. Notice in vss. 6-10 that following instructions is so important to victory. Leaders had to follow the chief leader’s instructions. The people had to shout at the right time.

In like manner, there is a need for especially those with titles to set an example of following leadership. There is need to be silent, when it is time to be silent, as well as vocal, when it is time to be vocal.

Think about how challenging it is to get “leaders” to do relationship-building projects, come to a 15-30 minute prayer meeting once a month, and to give to God as God has given to them.

Rebellious and uncooperative leaders led to rebellious and uncooperative people, which leads to God’s wrath and His people missing out on their blessings. Remember what happened to the old generation. Let’s work on doing better with following instructions.

- Trusting God’s timing. Notice in vss. 11-14 of Joshua that there are times when you do everything right and nothing happens, because it is not time yet.

First, we should make sure we are doing everything right. For example with our health, everything right includes eating right, exercising, getting enough rest, etc.

With our finances, everything right includes earning high, spending low, investing, and passing wealth on to responsible people.

Second, we have to trust God’s timing, which may not be aligned with ours. Let’s work on doing our part and trusting God’s timing.

Conclusion: Let’s work on our obedience. God has much for those who obey His will.

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